Europa League SF preview: Sevilla vs Manchester United – Anything can happen

Soccer Sevilla Advances to Semi-Final with 1-0 Win over Wolves ...

90 minutes separate Sevilla and Manchester United from this summer’s Europa League Final. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men are perhaps viewed as favourites to ultimately prevail here – but as Wolves, Roma and more can attest, Julen Lopetegui’s men will prove a stern test against an unpredictable United side.

They needed extra time to see off a spirited effort by FC Kobenhavn on Monday. Now though, Manchester United are a game away from the Europa League Final.

All things considered, it’s a welcome end to a whirlwind campaign where they can still finish with silverware.

Sevilla – serial winners of this competition – will relish the opportunity to do what Club Brugge, LASK and others couldn’t, by beating them here.

So, who will book their place in next week’s showpiece event?

Fernandes a key man for Solskjaer, who has decisions to make

Man Utd vs Copenhagen: Bruno Fernandes converts United's 21st ...

Fernandes celebrates his spot-kick vs. Copenhagen – he’s got 11 goals and 8 assists since January

Bruno Fernandes, calm as you like, made no mistake from the penalty spot as United edged a narrow extra-time victory on Monday.

Anthony Martial, who besides the Portuguese was their most influential player, was needlessly fouled by Andreas Bjelland.

Fernandes did the rest and now has seven goals from penalties alone since joining for £49.5m from Sporting in January.

Watch whether Solskjaer makes any changes to his starting eleven here.

Sevilla had more possession and plenty of chances against Wolves, but needed a late Lucas Ocampos strike to settle their tie.

Julen Lopetegui’s side want to replicate similar results against United, who have impressed and frustrated in equal measure this term.

Eric Bailly and teenage sensation Mason Greenwood were among the Red Devils’ most disappointing performers against Kobenhavn earlier this week.

Does Solskjaer persist with them again? Or prefer to go with the pair he replaced them with in Lisbon – Victor Lindelof and Juan Mata?

The latter created two key passes, missed a big chance and was generally impactful off the bench in extra-time. Does he have the legs to complete a full 90 minutes though?

Lindelof meanwhile was fairly indifferent, although United were chasing a winner and not frequently tested defensively while he was on the pitch.

What about Sevilla, their key players and strengths?

Sevilla have pedigree in this competition, but United aren’t too shabby either. It’ll be interesting to see how the likes of Ever Banega and Suso fare on this occasion.

READ: Sevilla 2-0 Real Betis – Ocampos magic decisive in El Grand Derbi win

Diego Carlos looking record: How the Arsenal, Liverpool and also ...

Carlos (right) in action against Wolves’ star man Adama Traore during their 1-0 quarter-final win

Be sure to watch out for Sevilla’s centre-back pairing of Diego Carlos and Jules Koundé.

Both have been linked with some of Europe’s elite clubs in recent months and are delivering precisely the performances to justify such interest in their services.

I’d be surprised if Youssef En-Nesyri retained his starting berth as the lone centre-forward after a lax display against Wolves, with Luuk de Jong a likely replacement.

Although they possess quality and capable of causing an upset, I’d back United to win, as there’s a sense of inevitability they will emerge victorious regardless of how they play.

Predicted line-ups

Sevilla: Bono; Reguilon, Carlos, Kounde, Navas; Jordan, Fernando, Banega; Ocampos, de Jong, Suso.

Manchester United: Romero; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Williams; Fred, Pogba, Fernandes; Greenwood, Martial, Rashford.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.